Over the years I have had to find many different brand names. Finding a great business or brand name can be broken down into a simple step by step systematic process. Here are my personal notes and techniques, and some compiled from other authors “names?” that I use to find and choose a great brand name:choosing a brand name sign post arrows pointing

Step 1. Come up with a large keyword list, use thesaurus.com to find other less common words you can use. “I like to find short variations stay away from really long hard to spell words”.

Step 2. Take the list and copy and paste it into column 1, column 2, and column 3 at mergewords.com

Step 3. Copy and paste the results into bulk domain tool at Go Daddy

Step 4. Copy and paste all available names into notepad.

Step 5. Run each name through the following questions finding several that ring true for the most questions.

Rules for choosing a successful name.

1. Short — A long name tends to be less catchy than a short one.
2. Not too short — Names composed of abbreviations are usually harder to remember. In addition, there is good chance that a three or a four-letter Internet domain has already been taken.
3. Added value — A name connected to content or a description of the company’s activity tends to be more memorable.
4. Target population — To obtain an effective name, company’s target population, its age, background, and social class, should be taken into account.
5. Goodname.com — A clumsy domain name that does not match the company’s name precisely will limit traffic to the site.
6. Spelling — A name that can be spelled in several ways or is purposely misspelled causes confusion among target population. Is it spelled as it sounds?
7. Globalization — The company with a name that is offensive to a certain population or culture will have difficulties penetrating international markets.
8. Not too close — A name closely resembling that of another company is likely to lead to lawsuits and confusion. Is it different enough from your competitors?
9. Conspicuous — Unlike a generic name, similar to those of other companies, a unique name allows a company to stand out. Kinkos
10. Not too conspicuous — An obscure or a difficult to pronunciation name is less memorable
11. Should name you but not describe you. Don’t add information that’s not necessary.
12. Contradictions Captivate “rough magic” “Selling the invisible” “Jefferson Airplane”
13. Never stop at the first word or phrase that conveys your message.
14. Have an independent party test your name on a dozen verbal people.
15. Personal names convey professionalism and have marketing bonus when include public figure, great for service business.
16. Pronunciation – Can it be pronounced easily even musically, quickly and clearly.
17. Is it short? 11 letters and 4 syllables max
18. Make sure it does not contain any negative internal words
19. Is the name unique and sensory. That is what makes it memorable.
20. Is it interesting?
21. Does it have story value or a back story
22. Key test: Is it authentic? Is it who you really are?
23. Can your employees say it proudly?
24. Does it set the right tone?
25. Do a few people dislike it? Good names have edges.
26. Does it make some people uneasy.
27. Is the name meaning rich. Does it imply more then one positive message.

Step 6. Run this shortlist of 5-10 names through Namechk.com: a tool which will help you see if your name is available on Social Media. We are mainly concerned with the big channels here, depending on your business.  Usually in order of importance, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram.  For myself Facebook is the deal killer, if I can’t get Facebook then I move on to a different brand name.

Step 7. If you’ve made it this far your almost done. This step is often overlooked but really important to the future search engine optimization and reputation of your brand name. Check your short list of brand names in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) on Google. In other words put your brand name into google and see what pops up.  Other people already using your brand? Maybe there is a really bad review of another business showing up at the tops? For any of these reasons you might want to reconsider using a brand name.

Step 8.  If your brand name(s) have made it this far send them to 10 people (preferable people in your industry you are selling to) or whoever will listen. Ask them to pick their top 3 favorite names and tell you why they like them. “You can send them to me using the contact form.”

Step 9. This step is one of the hardest but it also will prove the most fruitful. At this point choose 2-3 of the names. Setup a single landing page for each of these domains. Then create a Google Adwords campaign using identical ads for each of them except for the headline, which will contain your brand name. Make sure that Adwords settings will show the ads evenly. The domain that reaches statistical significance with having the highest click through rate is the winner.

Step 10. Launch

Happy name hunting! Do you have any tools or techniques that you prefer to use? If so please comment below.